Galileo Adult Education Centre SVIS students produce visors for frontline workers
For the past several years, Galileo Adult Education Centre in Montreal North has had an important partnership with the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal to help with the social and socio-professional integration of clients with an intellectual disability and autism.
With the collaboration of Brigitte Boudreau, head of Rehabilitation in the Work and Community Integration sector at the CIUSSS, Galileo was given the opportunity to work on a contract where visors had to be assembled. Ms. Boudreau consulted with Ms. Véronique Lavoie, coordinator of Technical Aids - Head of DI-TSA-DP (housing for adults with special needs) at the CIUSSS, to facilitate the participation of Galileo's work integration program with this project.
The objective of this project has been to respect the standards set forth by the CIUSSS. Galileo staff consulted with CIUSSS experts who played a critical support role for the SVIS (Socio-Vocational Integration Services ) team to help coordinate the assembly and delivery of visors.
The SVIS program at Galileo has been teaching students work skills by offering them learning opportunities in a work class environment, as well as internships within the community. For many students the work class is the first step where they can practice a variety of social and work-related skills. “When the opportunity arose to partner with the CIUSSS, we felt like this was a unique way to put into practice what students have been learning in class but in a way that has never been done before,” said Principal Martina Schiavone. “The COVID-19 pandemic we’ve been living through has left some feeling worried and helpless. Here was a chance for our students to feel like they were part of an effort that would help make the community safe. Our objective is to assemble 50 000 visors. These would be used to keep frontline workers from the CIUSSS protected when tending to those in need.”
This project required a new way of organizing the school’s workspace due to the many steps involved in putting together a visor. Tasks included measuring and preparing transparency films, cutting foam and elastics to taping the pre-cut foam onto visors, stapling elastics and finally, disinfecting the visors before packaging them. “We organized our eight steps in such a way that it resembled an assembly line,” said Ms. Schiavone. “Students had to carry out tasks as a team, each person responsible for a particular sequence of the work. Students were also asked to rotate in order to get the chance to learn various parts of the assembly process which permitted them to understand how each step was important and dependent on one another. Their work helped them practice different skills such as manual dexterity, concentration, precision, judgement and excellent attention to detail.
When it was explained to students the reason for making these visors and who they are helping, they expressed pride and a sense of fulfillment. Caterina Pupo responded: “It feels good to be useful by helping people!”
Added Ruby Ipekian: “ I feel happy to help the essential workers because we care about them.
Nancy Leopardi stated: “ I feel like I’m doing my part to help people who are treating Covid-19!”
“His partnership has recognized our students for who they are and for their capacity to contribute to society,” said Ms. Schiavone. “Galileo students are driven by their desire to be helpful and valuable. We are grateful to the CIUSSS du Centre-Sud-de-l'Île-de-Montréal for giving Galileo students this chance to contribute towards a safer community.”